17 Blocks

96 mins


Colorado Premiere
Brilliantly assembled from 20 years of home video footage, 17 Blocks chronicles four generations of the Sanford-Durant family, raised up by hope amid struggles with drug addiction and gun violence in their deeply troubled southeast D.C. neighborhood. The camera loves the Sanford-Durants, who emerge as recognizable, complex characters in a powerful drama keyed to single-mom Cheryl’s youngest son, Emmanuel, who was 9 when the family began shooting video in 1999. Tragedy is foreshadowed and unfolds inexorably, yet is nonetheless devastating when it arrives. The family’s devotion to their self-documentation project is impressive, the raw beauty of their footage is astonishing and director Davy Rothbart and writer/editor Jennifer Teixeira render it into a “found footage” documentary masterpiece. “Hope is real. Hope is alive. We have hope, everyone has hope," Cheryl says. "There’s hope for tomorrow, there’s hope for better, that’s all we’ve got.”

Production Team

Davy Rothbart

Festival Screenings

Featured in the 2019 Mountainfilm Festival.

Stream Film Online

This film is available online using the following streaming platforms:

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